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Corridor Planning Update

Corridor planning for the Business Loop is moving along and here is a quick update on our progress.
After a review of our community priority survey, a walking audit, a biking audit, a SWOT analysis, and comments from our town hall meeting, the Loop Corridor Planning Committee outlined the following objectives:

  • An attractive boulevard that says “you are here.”
  • A long-term vision for the corridor that will guide future public and private development.
  • A strong visual identity that better matches what we have become.
  • A street welcome to all modes of transportation.
  • Better traffic management, including increased safety for all visitors.
  • Landscaping that beautifies and manages stormwater runoff.
  • Increased physical connections to surrounding neighborhoods and commercial districts.
  • A corridor that is appealing to visitors, businesses, and investors.

Most notably, the committee spoke with a representative from Lakeview in Chicago about their recent street upgrades. Realizing it would take years to secure funding and rebuild infrastructure, they focused their initial efforts on quick, inexpensive, and temporary pilot projects that immediately improved the area and provided proof of concept for the final plan. The result was a more attractive, safe, and walkable neighborhood that created additional public support for their efforts.
The Business Loop is in need of major infrastructure upgrades and we are aware that improving a 1 1/2 mile stretch of road will take significant time and investment. However, we have a 5-lane road to work with and think there may be some creative and relatively simple ways to make some immediate changes.
We have drafted a Request for Qualifications and will be seeking a consulting firm with expertise in the following:

  • Landscaping/Stormwater Management
  • Public Amenities
  • Traffic Management
  • Pedestrian and Bike Infrastructure
  • Identity
  • Temporary Installations
  • Public Outreach
  • Financing

We anticipate publishing the call for submissions sometime in late January. The RFQ will be posted here, the local newspaper, and on various national planning websites.
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